Syria army fully captures rebel redoubt in Latakia

According to Syria’s state news agency SANA, army units and the pro-government National Defence Forces militia seized seven hilltops encircling Salma

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Syria’s army and allied forces “took full control” on Tuesday of the rebel-held town of Salma, in the northwestern province of Latakia, state television reported.

In a breaking news flash, the channel said the army, backed by the pro-government National Defense Forces militia, had also seized hilltops surrounding the town.

Opposition forces in Latakia province -- including Al-Nusra -- are largely based in the northern and northeastern areas of Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkman.

Regime forces have fought fiercely in recent months to retake those areas.

Since September 30, they have been backed by an intense air campaign by Russia, a staunch ally of Assad.

More than 260,000 people have died since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011.

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